How To Effectively Lead a Team: The 15 Critical Practices 

In this new article you’ll learn how to effectively lead a team.

Being a group leader can be a challenging task. As the head, it’s your duty to maintain unity and make sure the group operates efficiently as a team. Irrespective of whether you lead a group at work, school or amongst friends, having a strong and competent leadership style is crucial.

To lead effectively, start by fostering trust and positive relationships amongst group members, efficiently handle all group discussions and conflicts, and be ready to assign tasks and accomplish goals.

How To Effectively Lead a Team:

1. To build a cohesive team, consider conducting ice breaker activities.

This is a great way to establish a connection with your group members, especially during the initial meeting. Ensure that everyone gets a chance to introduce themselves to one another and feel comfortable.

One example of an ice breaker could be to go around the group, with each person sharing their name and a personal fact. For students, you can ask them to share their major and the most interesting thing they did during their break. If the group is comprised of professionals, you can ask them to share their occupation and their favorite hobby outside of work.

2. Enhance group cohesion by incorporating team building exercises.

These activities can aid in familiarizing individuals with each other and foster trust within the group. It’s ideal to plan team building exercises in the early stages of the group’s formation. Continuously conduct these activities, especially if you observe any problems within the group.

For instance, you could try a simple team building exercise like having everyone sit down and make eye contact, which can help build comfort and trust.

3. Foster positive communication among group members.

Good communication plays a crucial role in building trust and positive relationships within a group. As a leader, it’s important to encourage open and honest communication among the group members.

Create an environment where the group feels comfortable expressing themselves and share information freely. Clearly convey your expectations for good communication and emphasize its importance as a leader.

For example, you can say something like “As a leader, I believe in clear communication and I expect everyone in the group to communicate openly and effectively with each other.”

4. Provide opportunities for group members to interact informally.

To maintain a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere within the group, allocate time for socializing. Arrange for informal gatherings before and after official group meetings where members can chat, enjoy refreshments, and socialize. This can help create a more trusting and comfortable environment within the group.

As the leader, you can also plan social events for the group to participate in, where they can bond and get to know each other in a casual setting. This can aid in building trust and strengthening relationships by enabling members to see each other as individuals and peers.

5. Set up the meeting space to facilitate discussions.

Before the group arrives, arrange the chairs and tables to facilitate discussion. Form a circle or place chairs around a single table, ensuring that there is enough seating for everyone in the group. This arrangement will encourage eye contact and make group conversations smoother.

Additionally, have any necessary materials for the meeting readily accessible, either on the table or near the door. This will ensure a smooth start to the meeting and make the materials readily available to the group.

SEE ALSO: How To Engage Others As a Leader: Complete 17-Step Guide

6. Establish guidelines for group discussions.

To guarantee a productive and harmonious group discussion, establish clear guidelines from the beginning. Emphasize that the group discussion is a platform where everyone has the chance to express themselves.

Make it clear that interrupting others or talking over them is not acceptable. Urge all group members to treat each other with respect and respond in a respectful manner.

You can present the guidelines as a handout during the first group meeting or announce them during the meeting so that everyone is aware of the rules for discussion.

7. Utilize open-ended questions.

Encouraging group discussion can be enhanced by asking open-ended questions. Present questions that are thought-provoking and open-ended to the group. Pose inquiries that require more than just a yes or no answer. Make sure the questions are brief and straightforward so they are easily comprehended.

For instance, instead of asking “Did you like the presentation?” you could ask “What were your thoughts on the presentation?”

8. Pay attention to who speaks frequently and who may not be as vocal in the group.

Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas by encouraging those who may not speak as often. You can do this by posing questions specifically to those individuals or by making a general statement to encourage participation from everyone in the group.

9. Promote attentive listening in the group.

If there is any conflict or tension within the group, encourage all members to practice attentive listening. This helps everyone to hear and understand each other, and to respond thoughtfully.

As the group leader, set an example of attentive listening (1) by engaging in a one-on-one conversation with a group member. Show that you are paying attention by making eye contact, adopting an open body language, and nodding or smiling as you listen.

Once the person has finished speaking, repeat back what you heard to confirm your understanding, such as, “So what I understand you to be saying is…” Then, after they confirm that you’ve grasped their point, you can respond accordingly.

10. If there are problems among group members, approach the situation head on and work with the group to find a solution.

Express your concern about the conflict using “I” statements. Encourage the group to discuss the issue by asking open-ended questions.

For instance, you may say, “I sense some friction among the group. How do you all feel about this situation?” or “I’m noticing a disagreement. Can we talk about it as a group and work it out together?”

SEE ALSO: How To Become a Better Leader In The Workplace: Here Are Some Ways

11. If a group conflict requires individual attention, arrange a private meeting.

If you notice a disagreement between two group members, separate them from the rest of the group and ask if they would be willing to speak about it privately with you. This personal approach can make it easier for the individuals to express themselves freely and openly, rather than in the presence of a large group.

12. As the facilitator of the group, it’s important to keep track of tasks and objectives.

To keep discussions focused, create an agenda for each group meeting (2). Additionally, make a list of tasks or goals that need to be accomplished and share it with the group.

You can distribute the list or display it during meetings for everyone to see. If the group conducts meetings online, email the list to the participants. And once a task is completed, mark it off the list to give the group a sense of achievement.

13. Assign tasks to specific members of the group.

This can help to break down larger and more complex tasks into manageable pieces. Make sure to clearly communicate the roles and responsibilities of each group member. You can write down each task and who is responsible for it to ensure everyone is aware of their part in the group’s efforts.

For example, if the group is organizing a charity event, you could assign the task of promoting the event to a couple of group members and ask others to handle the procurement of necessary supplies.

14. Provide support to group members who are in need.

Observe how the members are working together, and if someone seems to be struggling, offer them help and encourage others in the group to do the same. Don’t micromanage the group, but pay attention to individual members who may require assistance.

For instance, if a member is having trouble with their tasks, offer your support and suggest that they work with another member to complete their work.

15. Show appreciation to the group.

As the leader, it’s essential to appreciate the group’s efforts and hard work. Show your support by acknowledging their accomplishments through words of praise and acts of kindness. This will help the group feel valued and motivated to continue their good work.

For instance, you could express your gratitude by saying, “You all did an excellent job on the charity event. I truly appreciate your hard work. I couldn’t have done it without your support.”

You could also show appreciation by treating the group to a meal or drinks as a token of thanks for their dedication.

To effectively lead a group, you can:

Encourage active listening in the group and model it yourself. Work with group members to resolve any issues and have private conversations if necessary

Prepare agendas and to-do lists and delegate tasks to specific group members. Support group members who need help and reward the group when tasks are completed.

By doing these things, you can foster a positive and productive group dynamic and ensure everyone is working together effectively.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to effectively lead a team. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here